Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

6 Ices Houses Burn  



It was reported in the 14 Jun 1906 issue of the Culver Citizen as follows:

Another Great Fire

Ices Houses South of Town Burn with a loss of $35,000

Set on fire, presumably by sparks from the locomotice fo the south-bound 11:52 passenger train on Tuesday the big block of ice houses nere the south limit of the town, eas entirely consumed.

It was the largest fire that has ever occurred in the town.

The alarm was turned in aboutn 12:30 from Keen's studio by Harry Menser who saw the fire from his father's residence. He telephoned to Slattery's drug store and Levi Osborn, the clerk, on his way to the M. E. church to ring the bell, met Fire Chief Harry Saine and the latter immediately got busy. The delivery wagon of Saine & Sons gathered up a bunch of boys belonging to the department and s supply of fire buckets from the fire station.

By the time the three-quarters of a mile had been covered the fire had enveloped two of the six houses . The flames started at the east end of the structure where the ice-chute crosses the tracks from the lake shore, and the wind carried them against the house.

Burns brands wre blown westward among the group of dwellings near by (some flying even as far as the cemetery) and several were at times on fire in the shigles, but the work of the owners and the members of the fire department was effective in preventing further destruction.

At one time it seemed impossible to save the house of George Smith, and all the household goods were removed, but the wind veered and the property escaped by the narrow margiin od a few minutes.

The barn of Martin Jones was directly in the line of the flying brands and was on fire several times, but the bucket brigade was able to meet the emergency.

By one o'clock the ice houses were almost level with the ground short lenghts of of blazing studding only remaining. Work was the concentrated on the runway close to the lake and a section of this was saved.

The members of the department turned in with the railroad section hands to extinguish the fire in the debris that covered the tracks and was badly twisting the rails.. A pile of coal containing about a carload clost to the main track caught fire and genreated such a heat that it was several hours before the wated and ice thrown on it cooled it sufficiently to permit the track hands to lay rails.

AT 2 o'clock the wrecking outfit from Logansport arrived bringing a large gang of men.

In the meantime the local frieght going south was held at this station all the afternoon and it was 4:30 before the track was open.

The plant destroyed was owned by the Maxinkuckee Ice company of South Bend and consisted of six houses, each 140 by 40 feetm 30 feet high, and the engine and office buildings. FOur of the houses were about one-half full of ice, aggregating about 6,000 tones; two were empty. The total capacity was 18,000.

George Davis is the local superintendent in charge of the plant. During the summe emmployement is given to at least fifteen men at times more.

CHief Saine is of the opinion that a fire engine would have saved at least two of the houses.

The ice houses were erected about fifteen years ago by the Maxinkuckee Ice company, the composed of Armstrong, Sam Medbourn, and Sterling R. Holt. Less than two years ago it was sold to the present owners, Hollingsworth & Reamer of SOuth Bend.

Mrs. Medbourn estimates that it would cost $25,000 not to replace the houses.

The ice in stock is estimated to be worth about $10,000 on which there will be some slavage. It is known that the property was insured, but the Citizen is unable to state the amount.

Naturally, this fire occurring within less than two weeks of the academy loss, has given renewed interest to the question of providing protection, and it will be strange if definite steps are not taken at once to guard against a calmaity which may at any hour overtake the business section








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